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A Lorax statue was stolen from the late Dr. Seuss' estate in San Diego, police said Tuesday.
The Lorax statue was made of bronze and weighed 300 pounds. The late author's widow Audrey Geisel and a groundskeeper discovered the statue was missing on Monday. San Diego Police believe the statue was rolled down a hill adjacent to the property and loaded it into a getaway vehicle, Reuters reports.
The Lorax movie, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, hit theaters earlier this month. Police are currently investigating whether the Lorax statute was stolen as a prank inspired by the film's release or if it was for the bronze, Reuters reports.
The stolen Lorax statue is valued at $10,000, KPBS reports. And the thieves could be facing a hefty sentence because of it.
That's because in most states (including California) stealing someone else's property is larceny. The crime comes in two varieties: grand larceny and petty larceny. Both types are committed the same way. The difference is based on the stolen item's value.
In California, grand larceny is anything worth $950 or more. Petty larceny is anything below. That $950 can make a big difference when it comes to sentencing.
Grand theft is a felony and can land a person in jail for six months to three years or more, depending on criminal history. A petty larceny sentence on the other hand is relatively light. California charges it as a misdemeanor or infraction, meaning a fine up to $1000, six months in jail, or both.
Due to the statue's value, the thieves would likely be facing a grand larceny conviction if they're caught. For now, representatives from Dr. Seuss' estate are just asking for the stolen Lorax statue to be returned.